MTECHTIPS:-Oil prices rise to 1-month high amid optimism over

MTECHTIPS:-Oil prices rise to 1-month high amid optimism over global supply cuts

MTECHTIPS-Oil prices were higher during North American morning hours on Thursday, hitting the strongest level in about a month as traders cheered signs that global supply was beginning to tighten in wake of a planned agreement by major crude producers to cut output. Crude oil for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to a daily peak of $54.34 a barrel, the most since January 3. It was last at $54.10 by 9:50 AM ET (14:50 GMT), up 21 cents, or about 0.4%, after jumping $1.07, or around 2%, a day earlier. Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 29 cents, or 0.5%, to $57.09 a barrel. Futures touched $57.45 earlier, a level not seen since January 6. On Tuesday, London-traded Brent rallied $1.22, or 2.2%, after data showed that Russian oil output shrank by 100,000 barrel per day in January, adding to signs that major oil producers are sticking to their pledge to cut back output. January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months